Reed Farrel Coleman, Louise Penny, Anne Perry, & More | Mystery Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Beaton, M.C. Dishing the Dirt: An Agatha Raisin Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781250057426. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466861183. MYSTERY New York Times best-selling sleuth Agatha Raisin is used to thwarting murderers, but in her latest case she’s the suspect. New-in-town therapist Jill Davent had snickered about Agatha’s humble origins, pursued her ex-husband, […]

Biography (e.g., J.M. Coetzee, Mary McGrory) & History (e.g., World War II) | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Attwell, David. J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face to Face with Time. Viking. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780525429616. $27.95. LITERARY CRITICISM/BIOGRAPHY Currently a professor at the University of York, Attwell completed an MA in African literary theory and criticism at the University of Cape Town, where his supervisor was Nobel Prize–winning novelist J.M. […]

Margaret Atwood, John Banville, Lauren Groff, Anthony Horowitz | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 2


Atwood, Margaret. The Heart Goes Last. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780385540353. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385540360. lrg prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN Sounds like classic Atwood. In her first stand-alone novel since the Man Booker Prize–winning The Blind Assassin, published in 2000, the Canadian author draws on the same almost-here dystopia as […]

Mary Karr, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joyce Carol Oates | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2015. Pt. 2


Karr, Mary. The Art of Memoir. Harper. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780062223067. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062223081. WRITING Karr is a Pushcart Prize–winning poet and essayist, but she’s perhaps best known for her New York Times best-selling The Liars’ Club, a National Book Critics Circle finalist and PEN Nonfiction Award nominee that effectively launched the current […]

Coulter, Kadrey, McCall Smith, Silva, & More | Hot Commercial Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 4


Abercrombie. Joe. Half a War. Del Rey. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780804178457. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804178471.  FANTASY First Half a King (July 2014), then Half the World (February 2015), and now the wrap-up to a trilogy featuring Yarvi, unassuming heir to the throne, who avenges his father’s murder and, with a warrior-hopeful young woman named […]

Gaiman, Klaussmann, Kumin, Scottoline/Serritella, Wascom, & Karjel’s Hot New Swedish Thriller | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Gaiman, Neil. Neverwhere: The Author’s Preferred Edition. Morrow. Jul. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780062371058. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780061793059. FANTASY You know Neverwhere, Gaiman’s first book, the career launcher that told the story of perfectly pleasant London businessman Richard Mayhew’s sudden drop through a crack in reality to the Neverwhere, a shadowy place under siege by some […]

Bukowski, Dylan, von Furstenberg, Robots, & the New American Generation | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Bukowski, Charles. On Writing. Ecco. Jul. 2015. 112p. ISBN 9780062396006. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062395986.LITERATURE/LETTERS The great cultural iconoclast Bukowski hasn’t been with us for two decades, but you can still hire him on as a writing teacher by reading this collection of his correspondence with publishers, editors, friends, and fellow writers. Lots of insights into […]

Midwinter Reminders & Last-Minute Spring Finds from Blume, Gruen, & More


In just a few weeks, many of us will be blowing into cold Chicago for another action-packed ALA Midwinter. If you’re going, don’t miss two fun events: 2015’s Best in Debut Authors, sponsored by LibraryReads and the Association of American Publishers and taking place Saturday, January 31, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at McCormick Place […]

From Deb Caletti to Rebecca Makkai to Lidia Yuknavitch | Six Essential Women Fiction Writers, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1


Caletti, Deb. The Secrets She Keeps. Bantam. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780345548108. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345548115. WOMEN’S FICTION A National Book Award finalist for her YA fiction whose first adult novel was 2013’s bone-rattling He’s Gone, Caletti returns with another adult work featuring three women who gather at their aunt’s now crumbling Nevada “divorce […]

Dean Bakopoulos, Vendela Vida, & Nine More Authors You Must Read | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3


Bakopoulos, Dean. Summerlong. Ecco. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062321169. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062321183. LITERARY In Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, Bakopoulos’s wondrous debut and a New York Times Notable Book, women and children are left scrambling after the men start disappearing from a blue-collar neighborhood. In this third novel (after My American Unhappiness), […]